Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What Inspires You Wednesday

Supporting Each Other, Literally & Figuratively






Literally................

Living just an hour out of Boston, the coverage of this marathon, as in year's past has been extensive. Given the tragic events of last year's  marathon, they've been even more intense. I've already talked a lot about how the survivors of last year's bombings inspire me, but what also inspires me are the story that come out of the marathon every year. Stories of people raising money for worth causes;  the huge volunteer force it takes to put on an event of this magnitude; the stories of the dedication it takes to train for such an event, and also of the camaraderie and support between runners.

I don't know if anybody else caught this story, but close to the finish line just past The Forum Restaurant where one of the bombs exploded last year, a runner was about to collapse.  One of the runners behind him noticed this and didn't think twice about his 'race time'. Instead he took action while he thought about what finishing meant to him, and knowing it surely meant as much to his fellow runner. He hooked the fading runner's arms around his neck and tried to help him walk, but the man was near collapse at this point. As runners continued to stream towards the finish line, another stopped to help the first man aid their fellow runner seeing that the first man couldn't hold him up any longer as he himself was exhausted. Then, another runner. And one more at which time they began to carry the ailing runner towards the finish line. Eventually, the man convinced them to put him down so he could at least walk across the line, and this they did.... together.  View the story here and the video here.

It makes me teary eyed, knowing that there are still people who put others before themselves and will help the guy next to them, simply because he needs it.  Just awesome.


Figuratively..............

I received an email the other day from a fellow etsy shop owner, Meredith Jordan of Wild Woman Beads. It made my day.

"Pam,  I was moving in January, and my life has been spinning ever since, so some things got wait listed until I could get to them. One of those things was your new magazine. It's FABULOUS! All your talents come together in this publication. I loved it.  I'm very excited for you. This is brilliant."

Thanks Meredith! You rock for taking the time to send me an email. It really meant a lot especially as I've been formulating ideas for the next issue. It came at the perfect time.

So, with Meredith's words came the thought that perhaps there are some of you who may be able to help me make the Summer Edition of the muse even better than the first, because that is my mission.  I want the next issue of the muse to continue to explore creative living while improving the design, including more content  (that is local, national, and international), and of course reach a wider and bigger readership.

All that considered, I'm asking for your help and announcing a Call For Contributors!



If you think you have an idea for article/feature that would be a good fit for the muse, I'd love to hear it.  As outlined above, I will consider all ideas, however not all will be the right fit for the muse.  Keep a few things in mind when submitting ideas: the focus of the muse is exploring creative living and living the good life; the look is clean, modern, simple, with a slant toward creatives and higher end markets; excellent photography and writing is a must.  

I already have story possibilities lined up that include features on a wine consultancy in Los Angeles,  a building reclaimer and furniture maker in Raleigh, and a jewelry maker in Boston.
I'm excited to start picking away at it and welcome the opportunity to not only receive support from my fellow creatives, but also offer support and exposure to them.

I'd love to hear what you think about the whole idea of the muse including contributors as well as the topics outlined. If you have any ideas for other muse-worthy topics, do tell. 

By the way.............what's inspiring you today?

Despite the rain here, it's a damn fine day to have. So make it great, ok?

Ciao for now,

 
 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Creating In New Ways

Watercolors

I've felt a need to create away from the computer lately. It's easy to get burnt out. Especially when you're 'creating' for a living and there are demands and deadlines on a daily basis. Newsflash: and so business ownership all the world over.

I've had some watercolors my mom gave me that I started playing around with. I've used them here and there before, but this time I am really loving it and want to continue.

Currently, I am Level Rudimentary. Really basic.  That said, I can still import them into my programs and fiddle with them which is a new way to create on the computer and another way to add variety to what I do and what I offer.

So far, lots of doodling as I mentioned in yesterday's post. 

I painted this for my sister on Easter, since she's the holiday hostess.


These, I watercolor doodled yesterday  morning. A new way to start my day to get the creative juices flowing.


Here's the thing, they can certainly be better. Way better. However, I am having fun playing with it and I'm not going to get any better without practice.

This one may be worked into a client revisions I'm working on currently, we will see.




Now I just need to order some real, honest to goodness, watercolor paper. It's on the list.

I used one of the garland wreaths I painted to create a new logo in the shop.



That's what's been happening in my creative world, what's happening in yours?

Ciao for now,




Monday, April 21, 2014

Wrap It Up: Easter Weekend

A Quick Glimpse

What a great weekend. Never long enough though, are they? It was however, jam packed to perfection.

Ready?


I listed a new OOAK Premade logo, loving hands, in the shop on Friday.

We had a sunset ride through Exeter, the next town over, on our way to our friends', Ralph and Cathryn, house for dinner Friday night.

Ralphie made us delicious baked fresh haddock he caught that day, and he and Cathryn sent us home with leftovers and fresh haddock fillets. Yes please, and thank you.

We spent time out in the sunshine on Saturday, starting spring clean up which involves an unbelievable amount of raking. More to come at the end of today...an so on and so on and so on. The before looks so sad, I will be happy when I can show you the after, but it will be awhile. G said to me, 'this will take us a good week of nonstop work just to get the yard raked'. I said, 'I know, let's not talk about it, let's just do. It will be less painful'.

I was going to go for a walk at the beach yesterday morning, but I felt like doing a little creating away from my desk. So instead, I sat out back in the sunshine and did a little sketching and watercolor doodling.

We enjoyed a very bountiful Easter dinner at sister Di and brother in law Al's followed closely by the Egg Hunt. 

It was so nice to have some time away from the computer to recharge. A full week would be super special, but for now, I'll take what I can get. It's been a long time since I stayed away from the computer and work the entire weekend. Can you say 'aaaaahhhhh'?


How was your weekend? Was it relaxing? Was it go go go busy? Was it filled to the brim with friends, family and food?

The sun is shining today on this Patriots' Day/ Marathon Monday. I hope and pray for an uneventful race for all those running and watching from the sidelines in Boston today. There are so many people running to raise money for various causes, and so many running in memory of those we lost last year as well as the survivors. I wish them the strength to finish strong!

Make it a great day, it's a great day to have.

Ciao for now,


Friday, April 18, 2014

Freeform Friday

Few Words


Wishing you a peaceful Easter weekend.




I apologize ahead of time that this video is sideways. I filmed it on a Sunday morning when we visited Rome. I have no idea how to fix it. I thought you'd enjoy the bells of Rome regardless............ just lovely.

video


Here's a better look at our view.


Some things I'm looking forward to this holiday weekend.

- getting out in nature where I feel closest to God
- taking two days off and enjoying some downtime away from the computer
- seeing old friends
- spending Easter with family
- skyping with our Irish family 
- the Easter feast at my brother in law Al and sister Di's house which includes: a beautiful baked ham with pineapple sauce, a smoked turkey, asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, cheesy broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, tourtierre, sweet and sour cabbage, salad, rolls, fruit compote, brownies....the list goes on and on and on. Nothing like homemade food to say LOVE.
- Easter eggs
- The Egg Hunt
- jelly beans
- malted milk eggs
- being in the moment and thankful for all of my blessings

A few Easter throwback posts:
Here 
Here
and Here

Worth a look, if just for some of the sunset pictures.


However you'll be spending the weekend, I hope you truly enjoy it.

Ciao for now,










Thursday, April 17, 2014

Worth A Look

Links To Link

Hi gang? How goes it? Today, I can say, most of the snow we woke up to yesterday morning has melted. Can I get an amen on that one? Amen and Halleluiah. If it only felt more like spring........ah well, the sun is shining the sky is blue.........all is right with the world.

You know when you're looking for one thing on the web, you can get easily distracted by something else, and then something else? Before you know it, it's like your missed your connecting flight to Phoenix, boarded a different plane altogether and ended up in New Zealand. Then, you have no idea how you really got there, but you're like this new hitch in your plans none the less.

Well, that's how I found these links that I think you'll find to be worth a look. I wasn't really looking for them, but I found them.  Check 'em out.........

I regret to say that I had not heard of madesmith previous to stumbling upon their site.  I'm not sure why as it is totally in line with my thinking. Here's a little excerpt from their site: 

"We believe in 'buy less, buy well'. By knowing where our things come from and who makes them, not only do we cherish the things we have, we also become more aware of the environmental impact of our purchases. Through connecting with the makers, we support our local communities and preserve the craftsmanship that becomes part of our everyday culture. Madesmith brings you the stories of makers and designers who produce handmade objects sustainably."
 

http://www.madesmith.com/

The makesmith site is beautiful to look at the stories of the makers full of variety and quite interesting to read.

Have you heard of Rena Tom? Rena is what she refers to herself as a 'serial entrepreneur, and in fact founded the makeshift society- 'a co-working space and clubhouse for creatives in San Francisco'.  She is also a creative consultant. Today I came across this article Rena wrote about transparency in your business and marketing.


http://blog.renatom.net/2013/07/22/is-transparency-in-your-toolkit/


Very interesting topic and she brings up some great points that should be considered by creative business owners and business owners in general.

Have you found anything lately (online or off) that you weren't looking, but felt was worth the detour? 

Ah Thursday. Friday is just a day away.  Make it a fantastic kind of day, won't you?

Ciao for now,




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Inspires You Wednesday: Strength

You Are Enough

As I mentioned yesterday, I had coverage of the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings on in the background yesterday while working away in the studio.

Here's the thing: I had to get up several times as they interviewed survivors because what they had to say was incredibly inspiring. Whether it was something like, "I may have lost my leg, but I kept my walk-up apartment because I love it. It's my home" or, "Getting up to walk was quite emotional because I hadn't even stood in such a long time.  I knew I wanted to and would dance again" or  or "I want to go to the marathon to see the people running just like I used to do. To be a part of that awesome atmosphere again. I know until I do that I won't be able to put this all behind me". I may not have the words quite right, but the common sentiment shines through.

What this group of survivors has is strength. They may not always believe they do, but they have showed the world that they are enough to face whatever comes their way.

When I checked my instagram feed this morning, this popped up from Natalia Benson, a jewelry designer/tarot card reader/DJ (talk about variety....).  Her tarot card for the day yesterday just happened to be 'strength'.




Natalia wrote this: "We are such complex and powerful beings: our solar energy (conscious mind) when united with our lunar energy (unconscious mind) is self empowering - we no longer act from sheer impulse or panic of pain from the past- strength is trusting that the totality of what and who we are is enough, we know what to do and we are so capable of everything we set our mind to".

Interesting that her random tarot pick coincided with the first anniversary of the bombings and more importantly with the stories of the survivors. 

A true depiction of strength were the Norden brothers, JP and Paul, each of whom lost a leg and who chose to walk the marathon route yesterday simply because "Our supporters had walked the route shortly after we were injured and we knew with their support, we could do", and they did.  The brothers, along with family and friends started their trek in the morning, followed closely by a trolley so they could take breaks.  In the end, they crossed the finish line around 6:30 pm and the pair had walked more than 7 miles of the 26.  I'd say they exhibited enormous strength.




Here's a video of JP and Paul, their mother Liz and their entire group crossing the finish line. I might have been in my living room, but I assure you I cheered them on.  If you think you can't do something, I suggest you watch this and remind yourself that you are enough, that you can do whatever you set your mind to. 



Strength. That's what is inspiring me on this Wednesday. What's inspiring you?

Ciao for now,

Pam


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Good Reminder: What I Chose For My Custom Bangle

Did You Guess Right?

I have to say, it was a nice little surprise to get something in the mail, other than bills.

It was even nicer because it was my custom sterling bangle.  Remember, I told you about it last week......I won it from Sima G in a giveaway hosted by my blogging pal Diana over at exPress-o. Sweet!



All I had to do was decide what I was going to have Sima stamp on my bangle.  So many choices, but in the end I went with...........drum roll please...................... (Debbi, you got it!)


I thought it would be a great daily reminder to make the most of each day.


It's perfectly wonderful.  Thanks again Diana and Sima!

I also think that this little wrist reminder is especially powerful on this 1 year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. In the background of my studio, I have one of our Boston stations on and they have extended coverage today with many stories from survivors.  Survivors like Marc Fucarile who lost one leg, is burned extensively over the other, had serious damage to his ear drums, and was the last survivor to leave Spaulding Rehabilitation Center.  He has since had to undergo two other surgeries and the doctors are trying to save his remaining leg, but it is still in question as to whether that will be the outcome. He experiences excruciating pain and the burns he suffered have further complicated his healing. 

In an interview a reporter asked Marc and his fiancee Jen if they were nervous about the marathon next week and attending any of the events that will be held for the survivors. Jen answered immediately and said that she was definitely nervous,  "I'll never be as carefree as I used to be."  The other day Jen went to leave their apartment, but when she got to the elevator there was a bin in it. She went back to their apartment and said to Marc, "There is a bin in the elevator. I'm not getting in there."

It turns out somebody was simply moving and the bin was theirs, but the story illustrates how their lives have forever changed. Marc takes it all in stride and says he's not particularly nervous about Marathon day, to the chagrin of Jen who says 'I don't think everything has set in for him yet.' Marc responds, "No. I do. I just choose not to live in the past. If I 'live' in that day, I can't move forward and I want to move forward."  Marc then proceeds to lift his prosthetic leg (which is attached) up , turn it one 180 and put it over his shoulder and behind his ear and says with a chuckle, "how many people do you know who can do that?"

Theirs is just one story of resilience after surviving the bombings. Just one of many.

Then there are the stories of the four people who lost their lives as result of the bombings and ensuing melee - 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, 8-year-old Martin Richard, 29-year-old spectator Krystle Campbell and MIT officer Shawn Collier. God rest their souls.

live . love . laugh

The kind of reminder we really shouldn't need, but the reality is that sometimes we do.

Make it a great day today. It's a great day to have.

Ciao for now,




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